Monday, October 29, 2012

Burn Notice.

Friday October 26th would have been Big Jim's birthday.  My two older brothers and I, along with my son and nephews went out to Independence to celebrate our parents and to clean out their house, that we had sold. 

Needless to say the window shutters, wicker baskets and a few old chairs got the thumbs down when the question "to burn or not to burn"came up.

 Saturday we drove south to the Rowley Fen for our opening day pheasant hunt.  The Rowley Fen is a very unique natural wetland area. This area is full of unique plants, wildlife, and birds but not any roosters.

 Jesup, Steve's German short hair did get birdie and pointed four hens. 

 A fen is different from other wetlands because of the calcareous (calcium carbonate containing) water seepage that flows constantly to the surface directly out of the bedrock.

This creates a basic water source that causes plant matter to take longer to decompose and results in mounds of peat forming on top of the water. The peat mounds have a springy, spongy feel to them that is a rare treat to walk on.

Of all the wetland types, fens are probably the least familiar to folks and are often refereed to as bog. 

At the Blazing Star prairie just down the road, Jesup hit on another point.  Beau walked up to dog to get a shot and then jumping back.  He shouted for Jesup to "get away"!  Jesup had a 25 lb. coon by the tail.

 It was only the first of three racoons that we came upon in that stretch and no birds. 

Well, we really didn't expect to get into too many birds.  But, it was important that we all got back to Indee for one last hunt and one last burn at Grandma and Gram pa Becker's.

Monday, October 22, 2012


For Thousands of years man has used the axe.
However, its appearance in human history came much later than the hand axe.  The earliest example of an axe dates to about 6000 B.C.  The axe took a simple tool, the hand axe, or wedge, and combined it with another simple tool, a handle, or a lever.  Adding a handle is called hafting.  Hafting the axe increased the power and efficiency of the tool.

 I've been felling saplings, cutting off smaller limbs,using 

Dogwood trees for ax handles for the past ten winters. 
They do well in a pinch with fairly strait lengths and they have the right girth for gripping and the price is right.

Beau did give me a new ax handle for Christmas a year back, for my Michigan axe.  Double bit axes have two sharpened blades facing in opposite Double-bit axes were designed as felling axes and the additional blade could be used without having to resharpen the first.

So, only my two splitting mauls were in need of new handles for this coming winter.


Then as I was leaving the council meeting last Friday, Marty called me over to the truck and he gave me two beautiful oak as handles that he had made.

Each Oak handle was nicely sanded and given a layer of linseed oil to help prevent it from splintering. 

Now, with re-handled mall in hand its time to  drop another dead elm and block up some more fire wood for winter.
You never know who's watching when your alone in the timber.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


 When October rolls around the weather often dictates what's going to get done.  We've had a few lite frosts recently but no killing frosts.

 The produce in the hoop house is looking great and we're still getting plenty of beautiful tomatoes.  So, the other day I fired up the cob oven and dried some apples and tomatoes with basil.  
 Next summers projects list is growing all the time.  More work to be done on the lavender garden and the Moon Hawk sculpture garden and I'll be rebuilding the cob oven with a better door opening.  Aside from that I really like how it works.
 I did make it out to wet a line on one of the gorgeous fall afternoons  after school.

My catch is not much to look at but it was great to be along the stream while a pair of Belted Kingfishers  called out its loud, dry rattling call. The Belted Kingfisher is named for the distinct, alternating bands of white, blue, and rust that encircle the bird’s throat and breast.

 Susie and I caught the closing night at the Voices form the warehouse and got to listen to River, Jacob and David.  River Glen began his musical career at the age of 2.  Their family band, The One Hat Band, had modest beginnings playing street corners in Galena, Illinois—a popular tourist destination—but quickly blossomed into a widely-recognized and well-loved folksy-family sound.

We've had some great fall bike riding.
 Last weekend was the Tenth annual BoBtoberfest. After nearly a decade of confusion and bewilderment bob finally seems to have gotten his act together. 

 LMAFO's Redfoo is still party rocking.
Happy Halloween!